First Gubernatorial Debate: Ethics Question IV - WSFA.com Montgomery Alabama news.

First Gubernatorial Debate: Ethics Question IV

Congressman Riley:

Governor, I still think that credibility is probably the most important factor a leader can have. Earlier in your administration, you came out and said you did not lobby for a judicial pay increase. Banner headlines in the Montgomery paper, 'Siegelman Lies.'

You said time and time again that you would receive no money for the tobacco settlement. Yet we read in the paper, by your criminal defense attorney today, that you received $800,000.

Moderator Lennox: Time is up for the question.

Governor Siegelman:

Let me set the record straight about the tobacco money. My settlement with my firm was totally independent of any tobacco litigation whatsoever. It was based on value that I had added to that firm, on taking it from a couple of small offices and making it into a nationally recognized firm. But you're talking about credibility. Credibility is based on keeping your promises. Like removing portable classrooms, like fixing tort reform, like bringing in thousands of good paying jobs for the people of Alabama. Like turning over my authority to an independent board at the state docks. That's what credibility is about.

Congressman Riley:

Are you telling the people of Alabama tonight that you did not receive any tobacco settlement money in that $800,000 and if that is the case, is your criminal defense attorney wrong in what he told the press?

Governor Siegelman:

I am telling the people of Alabama the money that I received was totally separate from any tobacco litigation whatsoever. I'm delighted that I filed that lawsuit and I'm delighted that the state of Alabama benefited from that lawsuit because we got hundreds of millions of dollars that we're now using to protest children, that make our homes and schools and streets safer. We're getting money for that tobacco lawsuit so that our seniors can have a quality of life.

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